22 HERITAGE SUSTAINABILITY: 0.71/1 (2015)
Montenegro’s result of 0.71/1 is reflective of the high level of priority given to the protection, safeguarding and promotion of heritage sustainability by Montenegrin authorities. While many public efforts are dedicated to national registrations and inscriptions, conservation, valorization and management, raising-awareness, and community involvement; select persisting gaps in knowledge and capacity-building, and stimulating support amongst the private sector call for additional actions to improve this multidimensional framework.
Montenegro scored 0.70/1 for registrations and inscriptions, indicating that authorities’ efforts have resulted in many up-to-date national registrations and inscriptions of Montenegrin sites and elements of tangible and intangible heritage. Montenegro has approximately 2,000 protected cultural properties (movable, immovable and intangible) registered in the Montenegrin Registry of Protected Cultural Property. Six intangible heritage sites have a protected status in Montenegro, and more than 200 additional elements of intangible cultural heritage have been recognized as having potential for protected status under the Protection of Cultural Property Act (2010). Government efforts have successfully resulted in 2 natural and culturo-historical regions receiving recognition of being World Heritage – Kotor and Durmitor National Park. However, no element of intangible cultural heritage has yet received international recognition, and no database of stolen cultural objects yet exists. Cross-analysis with the Governance dimension indicators confirms this gap, revealing that Montenegro has also yet to ratify the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (1995), though the overall legal framework in the field of heritage is well developed.
Montenegro scored 0.74/1 for the protection, safeguarding and management of heritage, indicating that there are several well-defined policies and measures in place, but select gaps persist regarding knowledge and capacity-building. The National Strategy for Sustainable Development (2007–2012) recognizes the preservation of cultural identity and cultural heritage as significant challenges in the transition period post-independence, and highlights the protection of natural and cultural landscapes as priority objectives in its Action Plan. Similarly, the Montenegro Development Directions (2013-2016) explicitly recognizes the role of culture and heritage in the economic growth of the country, and the National Program of Cultural Development (2011-2015) further recognizes heritage's importance for society's wellbeing. Demonstrating public commitment to these goals, in 2014, 2,825,079.19 Euros were allocated for the identification, protection, safeguarding, conservation and management of heritage. This figure includes funds for the Annual Program for the protection and Preservation of Cultural Goods of the Directorate for Heritage, funds for individual projects and studies of the national heritage institutions, capital investments in significant objects and heritage institutions, and donations. Other efforts taken regarding conservation, valorization and management include the updating of heritage site management plans, the establishment of documentation centers and disaster risk management plans, and the existence of specialized police units to combat illicit trafficking of cultural objects.
Cross-analysis with the Education dimension indicates that while opportunities exist in the area of heritage at the tertiary level, a lack remains for regular technical and vocational heritage training opportunities. Additional gaps regarding capacity-building include the lack of an operational centre for capacity-building for heritage professionals, as well as no specific capacity building and training programmes in the last 3 years for the armed forces concerning the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict, or for police forces, customs agents, or museum staff regarding the fight against illicit trafficking. However, trainings and round tables have been carried out for heritage site management staff and to increase the involvement of communities in the safeguarding of intangible heritage. Authorities have recognized the need for enhanced education and training opportunities, and thus in 2011, the Government adopted the Study on the Establishment of the Regional Centre for Management Development of Cultural Heritage, as a precondition for the founding of such an institution.
Finally, Montenegro scored 0.66/1 for the transmission and mobilization of support, which reflects efforts taken to raise awareness of heritage’s value and its threats amongst citizens, though more can still be achieved to further include the private sector in the safeguarding of heritage. Many tools are already used to alert the population of heritage’s values and the threats it faces, such as signage at heritage sites, the establishment of visitor centres at the most visited sites, and awareness-raising programmes using various mediums, as well as through schools. Additional measures to enhance the framework could include heritage training specific for teachers. Similarly, while efforts have already resulted in the active involvement of the civil society in heritage protection, another area that could be further enhanced is the inclusion of the private sector and foundations in the management of heritage and its contribution to sustainable development. For example, the establishment and involvement of private foundations dedicated to heritage advocacy and funding, and the signing of agreements with tour providers, could stimulate broader support. The involvement of all parties is crucial in Montenegro given the emphasis placed on the role of heritage and culture as a means to increase tourism and thus Montenegro’s economic development.